Varjo Unveils New, Powerful Business-Level Virtual Reality Headsets

Colin McMahon
 Oct 15, 2019

Finland-based head-mounted display (HMD) developer Varjo today announced its new virtual reality (VR) headsets, the VR-2 and VR-2 Pro. For those unfamiliar with the company, Varjo operates primarily in the enterprise-level VR hardware market, providing solutions for many companies in the automotive and aviation industries. Prior to this announcement, its primary piece of hardware was the VR-1, a VR headset released last April.

VR-2 and VR-2 Pro Virtual Reality Headsets

Source: Varjo

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New Artificial Skin Expands Possibilities for Virtual Reality Control

Colin McMahon
 Oct 8, 2019

Researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne have created a new silicone-based material that, when worn over the human body, simulates a sort of “second skin,” according to a recent article published in the Soft Robotics science journal. According to the preliminary findings this material, when used as a feedback device, marks a vast improvement over haptic feedback technology – which is a leading form of virtual reality (VR) control.

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Apple Quietly Reveals AR Headset Development

Colin McMahon
 Sep 16, 2019

On September 10, Apple hosted its annual Fall event – unveiling its product plans for the coming year. For the most part, everything went as expected. The iPhone 11 was announced (along with Pro versions), as well as the Apple Watch Series 5. A new iPad was also unveiled – one especially designed for entry-level customers. Apple also gave updates to its Apple Arcade and Apple TV plus platforms, pledging continued support and attractive price points. Overall, there really wasn’t much to write headlines about…or was there?

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Should You Make a Purchase at the Next Print Show?

Colin McMahon
 Aug 30, 2019

Are you an executive or decision-maker working for an organization that provides printing services? Do you have a plan in place to stay up to date with the ever-changing hardware and software landscape? Are you taking steps to ensure your continued profitability and revenue growth? Remember, your business plan is an on-going, live document that should be reviewed against these criteria on a regular cadence. Print is arguably a more competitive industry than most, as players aren’t just competing with each other but with online print aggregators and online marketing communication solutions. In response to this added competition, as well as continued consolidation of the market, many PSPs have turned to new products to help drive profits.

However, which new products are worthy of investment? And, what hardware will best enable these products? These are the questions that decision-makers must address as they look to the year ahead, on top of assessing maintenance levels, renewing lease agreements, and other factors that can impact the bottom line. With so many variables, updating the business plan for the coming year is an essential step for those at the executive level. Flying blind with no specific set of objectives removes a company’s ability to proactively control their future, leaving them reacting to events as they occur instead of laying the infrastructure to be prepared for market changes.

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What Print Service Providers Can Learn from Netflix’s Personalization Strategy

Colin McMahon
 Jul 23, 2019

At first, print service providers (PSPs)—including mailing companies and direct mailers—might wonder what they have in common with Netflix. Although the service started out as a direct mail offering, it has since become more associated with online digital streamlining. Nevertheless, a recent technology blog from Netflix has shed some additional light on how the company is pushing its personalization practices forward, making them more advanced and better synced to each individual Netflix user. While this level of personalization is quite advanced now, it will likely become increasingly commonplace in the years ahead.

Many firms, including PSPs, can benefit from absorbing and understanding how Netflix continues to personalize its offerings in today’s digital age.

Netflix logo

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HP’s VR Headset Reverb Brings Stronger Enterprise Potential at a Consumer Price Point

Colin McMahon
 May 7, 2019

HP has just released its second virtual reality (VR) headset, known as the HP Reverb. Like its predecessor, the HP Reverb has been designed to work with Microsoft’s Windows Mixed Reality platform. That said, the Reverb is not simply an updated version of the 1000-100 (the first HP VR headset). It has been designed with a focus toward enterprise clients, while retaining a price point that will make it a viable option for the consumer market as well.

HP Reverb Professional Edition

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Developers Using Cardboard to Test VR Environments at PAX East 2019

Colin McMahon
 Apr 10, 2019

PAX East, which was held in Boston, MA, March 28th to 31st, 2019, is one of the largest gaming technology expos in the world. The four-day event, which in the past has drawn crowds of over 80,000, once again enjoyed a well-attended year. While no official number has been given, Keypoint Intelligence – InfoTrends (InfoTrends) estimates that around 100,000 people visited the show. While PAX is an event mainly focused on video games and gaming as a whole, it also serves as a technology showcase. Over the past several years, we have followed developments in virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and 3D printing at PAX East.

PAX East Boston VR

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What Does Hololens 2 Mean for Businesses?

Colin McMahon
 Feb 26, 2019

On February 24, 2019, Microsoft unveiled Hololens 2, the successor to its augmented reality headset, Hololens. Almost three years have passed since the developer edition of the first Hololens became commercially available. In that time, numerous other AR, virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR) headsets have come to market. All the while, software creators and content developers have used this time to create a wealth of programs – some simple, some quite complex.

For Microsoft, the three-year gap means one significant detail: DATA. The company has had several years to see exactly how its intended clients use Hololens and have created Hololens 2 with what it says are significant improvements for the enterprise space.

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Cybersecurity: Understanding the Inside Threat

Colin McMahon
 Jan 7, 2019

When stories of cyberattacks reach the media, the culprit is often an outside source. Whether it is a foreign government or malicious hacker, organizations are conditioned to seek external threats to data security. This approach, however, misses a common cause of cyberattacks and data breaches—a company’s own employees.

Research has shown that more than half of all businesses are either at risk or have been attacked from the inside. To move forward with a fully developed data protection strategy, PSPs must be cognizant of inside attacks and minimize their risk.

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What genARate Means to the Print Market

Colin McMahon
 Dec 14, 2018

Released last month, genARate is a new software tool from Konica Minolta. The platform specifically focuses on applying augmented reality (AR) technology to print products. Although it is not the first tool to encourage AR application creation, or even the first to target the print market (see HP’s Reveal platform), genARate is notable for its ease-of-use and its application focus.

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